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Change proposed to city ordinance to allow e-scooters on some sidewalks

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Posted at 10:30 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 05:56:22-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18)  — Just weeks after electronic scooters launched in Lexington, one person has been hospitalized after being hit by a car while riding one and another has been killed after losing control of a scooter and being hit by multiple cars.

It's in light of this that Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council Member Josh McCurn has suggested an amendment to an ordinance that prevents e-scooter riders from using them on sidewalks.

Although, McCurn said he first suggested an ordinance change like this before scooters launched in the city. He wants the ordinance for scooters to mirror the ordinance for bikes, which he said allows for bikes to be ridden on some sidewalks where there are no bike lanes.

"As you go down Main Street towards West Main and Leestown Road," he said, "as the road kind of comes in to a two lane area, you have a sidewalk but you don't have a bike lane. So this
would allow the scooters to be not in the roadway. It would allow them to be on the sidewalk for that time period."

But some have concerns about what this would mean for pedestrian safety.

"It seems like a bad idea for just people that are going to be walking up and down the streets," John Williams said. "You really don't want to see a motorized vehicle coming at you. It could be dangerous."

The ordinance change would not apply to the downtown district, McCurn said, where foot traffic is heavy.

On Tuesday, the ordinance change was discussed in a work session. Council members voted to send it on to the planning and public safety committee where it will be discussed further, McCurn said. If it passes out of committee, it will then be considered for passage at a council meeting after two readings.